Peanut sniffing dog for allergic girl

Posted on: Fri, 04/16/2010 - 12:19am
barbfeick's picture
Joined: 04/18/2009 - 05:48

Allergic girl’s dog protects her life from peanuts
Portuguese water dog is specially trained to sniff out deadly allergen

The idea was born of the desperation that only parents of children with food allergies so severe they are virtual prisoners in their own homes can fully appreciate: If dogs can be trained to sniff out bombs and narcotics, why not allergens such as peanut protein?

This is the idea that came to Sherry and Brett Mers of Monument, Colo., whose daughter, Riley, is so allergic to peanuts that simply touching a bit of peanut shell can burn a hole in her skin and send her into life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

The idea of training a dog to sniff allergens came to Sherry Mers independently. She asked around and found out that there were at least two organizations that train dogs for that purpose. The family got their dog through one of them, Angel Service Dogs.

The training isn’t cheap. The dog can’t make mistakes; it has to detect allergens 100 percent of the time to protect its owner. Rock’O’s training cost $10,000, which was more than the Merses could afford. But family and friends donated the funds so Riley could gain some freedom and security.

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Posted on: Mon, 04/19/2010 - 9:34pm
RichieB's picture
Joined: 04/13/2010 - 02:21

Interesting story, how about training one for multiple allergies? very cool

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